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Fantasy football advice, Week 5: who to start/sit for Washington vs. Baltimore Ravens

Dan Ciarrocchi reviews who should be in fantasy lineups and benches for Week 5’s beltway battle.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy owners have much to factor into their decisions for Week 5, whether it is four teams on bye weeks, or Hurricane Matthew’s winds potentially whipping around in football stadiums along the East Coast. In the meantime, fantasy owners can have some clarity in setting lineups by looking at Week 5’s matchups, one at a time.


Start ‘em

It’s difficult to argue against Jordan Reed’s upside, after hanging a 9-73-2 line on the Cleveland Browns in Week 4. He remains a top-flight TE1 and could be the catalyst to take Kirk Cousins out of his red-zone funk. Cousins can be considered a low-end QB1 on the road against an improved Ravens secondary. Washington had been 3-of-14 on red zone trips before going 4-of-5 on Sunday, and Reed’s two scores were a big reason for their improved success.

DeSean Jackson didn’t have the outing fantasy owners wanted, catching just a pass for five yards. Despite that, he racked up 71 yards in pass interference penalty yardage, but fantasy owners won’t take much solace in that. The point being, Jackson still has an impact on defenses and remains in WR2/WR3 territory in standard formats.

Start ‘em?

Jamison Crowder’s stat line took a step back on Sunday, as did the passing game as a whole, totaling just 183 yards while Matt Jones got going in the second half. Jones could be in for some rough sledding against a Ravens defense that is surrendering just 3.7 yards per carry, and Jones is more of a flex option in standard leagues for Week 5. Crowder is worth a flex spot in PPR formats, and should garner low-end flex consideration in PPR formats.

Sit ‘em

Pierre Garcon and Chris Thompson aren’t getting the usage that warrants any starting consideration outside of desperate flex-plays.

Baltimore Ravens

Start ‘em

The addition of Kenneth Dixon to the lineup should concern Terrence West owners in the long-term, but not in Week 5. Dixon will likely be eased into action, and with Justin Forsett gone, the early down work can be considered West’s. Against a Washington defense that got steamrolled by Isaiah Crowell and ranks 31st in yards per carry surrendered, West is a firm RB2 with upside.

Start ‘em?

Steve Smith, Sr. could get the Josh Norman treatment on Sunday, which could open up other aspects of the Washington defense to exploit. Smith can be considered a solid flex option, but it may be too much to expect a big play out of him. That’s more likely to go to the likes of Mike Wallace and Dennis Pitta, who quarterback Joe Flacco should be able to find without much resistance. Wallace can be considered a boom-or-bust flex in standard leagues, and Pitta is a fringe TE1/TE2. Flacco has streaming appeal, but fantasy owners can likely do better due to his overall inconsistency.

Sit ‘em

Dixon, Kamar Aiken, and the rest of the Ravens skill position players can remain safely benched. Dixon’s usage is yet to be determined, and with West having a 100-yard performance in Week 4, there’s no reason to rush the rookie into action.